Tim Hicks

Forever Rebels: Tim Hicks Backstage Interview, Toronto

From the small stage of a downtown Toronto bar to making dreams come true in front of thousands of country music fans on the Budweiser Stage, Tim Hicks has been on a hell of a ride.

Canadian country music fans know Tim Hicks as the singer of top 10 hits, fan anthems, and major tour appearances with some of the genre’s biggest names. But before all of that success, Hicks fronted the house band at Grace O’Malley’s, singing covers of country favourites and drunken rock and roll standards like Pour Some Sugar On Me.

We caught up with Tim Hicks backstage before his Budweiser Stage show with fellow Canadian star Dean Brody to talk about the highlights, family, his live record, CCMA weekend and more.

It was clear that Tim was excited for the amphitheatre show. Even if he hadn’t told us about the excitement specifically (he did), it was plastered all over his face. He called it a bucket list event, a highlight that he’ll not only look back on as a big moment, but that he could appreciate as it was happening.

Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017

That feeling of excitement flows over into everything that is happening in Tim Hicks’ career. He’s still very happy to be writing, recording and performing his music. But as much as he enjoys making a living doing what he loves, he fully admits that it isn’t always easy. “It doesn’t come with a manual”, he told us when we talked about the process of creating music, being on the road and juggling that with his responsibilities as a husband and a father. He told us that when he’s home he makes a conscious effort to put his phone away and just be dad. Whether that means colouring, crafts, puzzles or playing outside, that time is important to him and his young family.

While there may not be a manual, there has been help along the way. In 2014, at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto we talked to Tim and he told us that Dierks Bentley had become an amazing resource of advice and information as they prepared for their tour dates together. And as the years add up in his own career, Hicks feels like he’s ready to start sharing his insights and advice to the next wave of Canadian artists coming through the pipeline.

Note: As we talked on a balcony backstage, a group of Tim Hicks fans lined up for their meet and greet with him below us. When they saw him, they called his name, waving and trying to get his attention. We stopped for a second as he turned and smiled and waved at them. And when he turned back around he looked at us with a look of awe and told us that he was a little speechless. It was real and endearing and one of the small moments that still hasn’t gotten old for the homegrown star.

Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017

While we had Tim we asked him about his live record, Tim Hicks Live, that dropped in May. Hicks told is that the 6 song release was a happy accident. He had been recording his shows live from the board and listening back to them to see where things could get tighter, better, and more exciting at the next stop – and then it happened. When Tim listened back to the Sudbury show he loved it. The sound was strong, his vocals were on point, and it got the wheels turning. After sharing it with his label, the tracks were sent to Nashville for a little cleanup and mastering, and from there all that was left as the release. Hicks told us that he’s especially proud of the fact that his vocals weren’t tuned or touched in the production of the record. And he also told us that he’d love to see more Canadian country artists follow his lead with their own live releases. He didn’t go so far as to challenge anyone by name, but as a fan himself, we’re sure there are some live releases he’d love to hear.

We also talked to Tim about the upcoming CCMA awards and weekend in Saskatoon. He told us what so many other artists have, that he’s looking forward to seeing all of the industry friends that he so rarely gets to hangout with. Tour stops like the Toronto show offer quick chances to say hi to local radio hosts and fellow artists, but Canadian Country Music Week will offer the chance for some real catch up time, and maybe a drink or two. Tim is also up for two awards on Sunday, September 10 – Male Artist and Interactive Artist of the Year – and taking home either of those trophies would most certainly be another highlight to add to Tim Hicks’ growing list.

On stage in Toronto, Tim Hicks and his band let it all hang out. With fire shooting into the sky, guitars ringing, and the fans singing along, it was a special night for the folks in the back row all the way to the man standing at the microphone. And don’t for a second think that he’ll forget it.

Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017

2 months ago Views

Dean Brody, Tim Hicks, Carly Pearce and Special Guests Take Over Toronto

On a summer Thursday night down by the lake, Toronto embraced Canadian country music at the biggest homegrown show in our memory. Dean Brody & Tim Hicks put their Canadian names on the tickets, with U.S. rising star Carly Pearce as their opener, and special guests promised – and everyone, from the start to the finish – delivered a night that thousands of fans are glad they were a part of.

Before the show on the big stage got started, Leah Daniels hit the River Bar for a pre-show set as the gates opened. We talked to Leah for a minute and she told us that there are some exciting things coming soon. So stay tuned for more news from the Canadian country singer.

The Budweiser Stage show started with Kentucky native, former Dollywood performer, and Top 20 charting, Carly Pearce. The Big Machine artist, preparing to drop her debut full length album this fall (October 13, 2017) made her first Canadian performance count, wowing the crowd from start to finish.

With songs including her single, (and the title track to her upcoming album) Every Little Thing, and songs that we’ll hear on the new record including, Careless, Doin’ It Right, and If My Name Was Whiskey, Pearce showed that she’s ready for that release.

The tracks offered an opportunity for Carly to showcase her voice, and it’s impressive. The notes, inflection, and emotion that she’s able to share through the words in her songs are strong, and those qualities are exactly why there’s hype from outlets like Rolling Stone for her young career.

Be ready to hear a lot more about Carly Pearce here and everywhere.

Carly Pearce - Budweiser Stage 2017

After Carly Pearce finished her Canadian debut, the true north country show started with Tim Hicks and his band hitting the Budweiser Stage… hard. The moment Hicks and the boys hit the stage, it got loud. The Toronto country fans love this dude, accepting him as one of their own over the last few years as he’s put out hit after hit.

Hicks made a point of telling everyone in the crowd how special this show was to him. Making the journey in his career from fronting the house band at Grace O’Malley’s to playing the amphitheatre by the lake is big for him, as it would be for anybody.

Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017

Note: Many thanks to Tim for hanging out with us for a little chat and catch up session before the show. It’s always a good time.

Hicks also made an announcement at the end of the set, just before playing his last song, that the track, Forever Rebels, will be released as his next radio single. And, having listened to the track, and having seen the reaction of the fans to it, we’re pretty comfortable telling you that we think Tim Hicks has another Canadian Top 10 on his hands.

We should also tell you this… Tim Hicks had the second loudest singalong we’ve ever heard at the Budweiser Stage. When Stronger Beer was being belted out by thousands of voices we could feel it just as much as we could hear it. It was special. It truly was. And the only time we’ve heard it louder was when Florida Georgia Line stripped it down to perform H.O.L.Y in 2016.

Even though it’s only a 15 minute drive, Tim Hicks has come a long way from playing covers in downtown Toronto. And every stop along the way has been a hell raisin’ good time.

Tim Hicks Setlist Budweiser Stage, Toronto

🍻 Shake These Walls
🍻 Burn
🍻 Hell Raisin’ Good Time
🍻 Slide Over
🍻 She Don’t Drink Whiskey
🍻 I Got A Feelin’
🍻 Stompin’ Ground
🍻 Get By
🍻 Stronger Beer
🍻 Forever Rebels

Dean Brody headlined the Thursday night concert in every sense of the word. With a boatload of energy, and more special guests than we could have predicted, the B.C. native took over the Toronto stage and showed everyone what he’s got.

It was immediately clear, from the moment he walked on stage and started playing Bush Party with the band, that the crowd was in love with him. They were loud, attentive, out of their seats, singing and dancing at every opportunity. And that was before the surprises started popping out onto the stage.

Note: Dean told the crowd that he’s a Toronto resident now, so if you see him walking around reenacting the Mountain Man video, say hi.

Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017

Six songs into the show the first special guest came out to play – and Toronto got loud for Dallas Smith as he partnered with Brody on Undone, and then borrowed the band to play Somebody Somewhere. Then, just a new moments later, Madeline Merlo (fresh off the bandshell stage at the Canadian National Exhibition) came out to sing Lindi Ortega’s part on Bounty. Next, after Dean pulled on our heartstrings with acoustic versions of Time and Brothers, his duet partner, Shevy Price, came out to hammer home a high energy performance of Beautiful Freakshow.

And just when we thought that had to be it, Alan Doyle, a repeat partner in Dean Brody’s career, came out on stage to collaborate on both Soggy Bottom Summer and It’s Friday, before borrowing the Brodeo for Great Big Sea’s classic, Ordinary Day.

Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017

It was highlight after highlight. But don’t be fooled into thinking that the special guests were the only high spots. Dean Brody worked the stage, commanded the crowd, danced, smiled, and rolled through his biggest hits for the Toronto crowd. He headlined the hell out of that concert, proving that he was more than ready for that big city spotlight on the Budweiser Stage.

Dean Brody is a stud and a homegrown star. And he showed that Canadian talent can not only compete, but can put thousands of butts in seats, get them back out of those seats to sing and dance, and headline shows for country music fans.

We’re glad we were there to see it. And we can’t wait to see Dean, and a whole crop of Canadian artists follow in those footsteps.

Dean Brody and Special Guests Setlist, Toronto

🍻 Bush Party
🍻 Dirt Road Scholar
🍻 Upside Down
🍻 People Know You By Your First Name
🍻 Roll That Barrel Out
🍻 Monterey
🍻 Undone (with Dallas Smith)
🍻 Somebody Somewhere (Dallas Smith)
🍻 Love Would Be Enough
🍻 Bounty (with Madeline Merlo)
🍻 Time
🍻 Brothers
🍻 Beautiful Freakshow (with Shevy Price)
🍻 Soggy Bottom Summer (with Alan Doyle)
🍻 It’s Friday (with Alan Doyle)
🍻 Ordinary Day (Alan Doyle)
🍻 Canadian Girls
Encore:
🍻 Mountain Man
🍻 Bring Down The House

More Photos of Dean Brody at Budweiser Stage, Toronto

Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017 Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017 Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017 Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017 Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017 Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017 Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017 Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017More Photos of Tim Hicks at Budweiser Stage, Toronto

Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks Band - Graham Mallany - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks Band - Geoff Torrn - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks Band - Chris Altmann - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks Band - Rob Wells - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks Band - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017

More Photos of Carly Pearce at Budweiser Stage, Toronto

Carly Pearce - Budweiser Stage 2017Carly Pearce - Budweiser Stage 2017 Carly Pearce Band - Budweiser Stage 2017 Carly Pearce - Budweiser Stage 2017 Carly Pearce - Budweiser Stage 2017 Carly Pearce - Budweiser Stage 2017 Carly Pearce - Budweiser Stage 2017 Carly Pearce - Budweiser Stage 2017 Carly Pearce - Budweiser Stage 2017 Carly Pearce - Budweiser Stage 2017 Carly Pearce - Budweiser Stage 2017

3 months ago Views

Side Effects: Dallas Smith Backstage Interview, Toronto

Before he surprised the crowd at the Budweiser Stage in Toronto as a special guest of Dean Brody, Dallas Smith hung out with us to talk about his upcoming tour, what it feels like to go #1, and more.

The first time we saw Dallas Smith playing live country music was at Boots & Hearts in 2012. It was year one of the festival, Smith was still new to the country genre, and he played in the middle of the sunny afternoon to country music fans who sang along to covers and listened to him play songs from his first album, Jumped Right In. We asked him about that day, and the journey since then to playing bigger stages for bigger crowds.

Dallas remembers the afternoon show, and then jumped ahead to talk about the 2014 Thursday night kick off party at the same festival. Smith headlined that night, to a monster crowd on the front porch stage, and he remembers that feeling. We were there, and we remember that night too. He was on fire, running all over the stage and showing the country music fans that he belonged on the list of rising stars in the genre. He jumped again to put a highlight on his 2015 visit to Boots & Hearts when he played the lead in to Eric Church on the Saturday night main stage. We could see in his face that he remembers that night with a special feeling. He told us that he took a bunch of video of the crowd because it was such a significant moment in his live performance career.

Dallas Smith Boots and Hearts 2015

Staying on the live show topic, we talked about Dallas Smith’s recently announced, Side Effects Tour that will see him play 27 dates between October 12 and November 18. He told us that the tour has been in the works for months, and that it was exciting to be able to make the announcement this week. It’s also exciting, he said, to be hitting the road with the likes of The Cadillac Three, Lauren Alaina, Michael Ray, and for one night, the James Barker Band. Here’s our recommendation, if the Side Effects Tour is coming to a city anywhere near you, get tickets and be there.

A common thread throughout our chat were the feelings that have come at different moments in Dallas Smith’s career. With Sky Stays This Blue recently becoming his fourth #1 single, we asked about the feelings that have some with those milestones. Dallas told us that they all felt special of course, but the first one, Wastin’ Gas was something he’d never felt before. And when it stayed at the top for a second week, that was truly a feeling to remember. We asked who got the first call after he found out about his number one status, and while he couldn’t remember exactly, he’s sure it was either his dad or his wife… and both of those options sound good to us.

Dallas Smith also told us there’s one feeling that never changes and never goes away; the feeling that comes when thousands of people in the crowd take over and sing his songs back to him. We’ve seen and heard it, and we told him that we watch for the reactions from artists when it happens, and he confirmed for us that it’s all legit. The smiles and expressions he, and other singers, give when a choir of country fans starts singing are 100% real, and it never gets old.

Dallas Smith CNE 2015

Before our time was up, we asked Smith about the music video for Sky Stays This Blue and how special it was to be able to include his daughter, Vayda. Dallas told us that he’d had the idea to include her in a video to capture her at a young age and create a memory that they can both hold onto in the future. He said that the song fit perfectly with that idea, and that with a scaled down version of director Stephano Barberis’ original idea, a small crew was able to capture the feeling and vibe that Smith had hoped for from the very beginning.

During Dean Brody’s set on Thursday night at the Budweiser Stage, Dallas Smith was introduced to a thunderous round of cheers and applause. The crowd, already pumped up from Carly Pearce, Tim Hicks, and the start of Dean Brody’s set went wild when the B.C. native came out in a Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays jersey. And when he teamed up with Dean for a duet of Brody’s 2009 single, Undone, and then borrowed the band to play Somebody Somewhere, it stayed loud. Really loud.

Smith was ready for that moment, excited, he told us it was the first time he’d be coming out as a surprise guest. We saw it all, and we can tell you this, it worked, he just jumped right in.

3 months ago Views

2017 Boots and Hearts Emerging Artists Showcase Preview

Over the years we’ve seen some amazing acts come through the Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase. Artists that have become household names like Tebey, Tim Hicks and The James Barker Band as well as some of our favourites including Johnson Crook, Birds of Bellwoods, Runaway Angel, The Reklaws, Trinity Bradshaw, Jesse Gold and last year’s winner, Vanessa Marie Carter.

This year’s crop of emerging artists are super talented and we’re sure this is going to be a close one! We’re pleased to introduce you to the Boots and Hearts 2017 Emerging Artists.

Amanda Sadler – Cross My Heart

This Kingston based singer songwriter has already been making waves in Canadian country music and performed at the CCMA Country Music Week “Diamonds in the Rough” Showcase. Amanda is classically trained in both piano and vocals and has been performing since the age of five. She’s recently returned from a writing stint in Nashville where she was working on new music with Patricia Conroy and Dave”Dwave” Thomson.

Jade Eagleson – I Don’t Drink

Jade Eagleson, if that isn’t the best country music name I’ve heard this year, I don’t know what is? But Jade will need more than a great name to win this year’s Emerging Artist Showcase. He comes armed with plenty of experience, the 23-year-old has been playing since he was 13, he’s recorded in Nashville and the singer songwriter has enough support to have won himself a spot in this competition!

Jason Kirkness – Whiskey Kiss

Jason isn’t new to us, we’ve been following his career for some time now. This small town, Manitoba born singer songwriter, released a new album, A Beautiful Disaster in May and the single Whiskey Kiss has a classic country sound that makes you want to sing along. With stage smarts that come from opening up for Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, The Roadhammers, George Canyon, Jake Owen, and Kip Moore, we’re thinking Jason might have a slight advantage in this race.

Kalsey Kulyk – More Time

Kalsey describes her style as country with a little pop and rock thrown in for good measure and that sounds great to us. She was born in the small town of Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan and with the support of her family, she’s been performing since the young age of 4 in talent and on tv shows. Kalsey lists her early influences as Shania Twain, Allison Krause, The Dixie Chicks and we love her crystal clear voice and relatable lyrics.

Kentucky Rails – Wallet

Kentucky Rails are a five-piece band that have “the look” and their entry song is fun and energetic. Wallet is their first single and we’re looking forward to seeing these boys perform live. Kentucky Rails are Justin deGraaf on bass and vocals,  Ryan Pellicciotta on guitar and vocals,  Zach McCabe on guitar and lead vocals, Dave Kirby on guitar and Matt Soliveri on drums.

“KR symbolizes the struggle to win. When you’re on the rails in the Derby, the odds are stacked against you. But we all love an underdog story… Right?”

Marco Sylver – Summer Life

Marco Sylver’s entry is also his current single. Summer Life highlights all the good things about summer including top down days, friends, no worries and fun. With a bluegrass background, Marco has been working hard to make a name for himself in Canadian country music. A current resident of Calgary he’s had the opportunity to open for Travis Tritt and the Charlie Daniels Band and we’re sure he’ll be bringing his A game to the Boots and Hearts Stage.

Josh Ross – Don’t Ever Let Go

Burlington singer songwriter Josh Ross started performing at a very young age and added songwriting to his repertoire in high school. He lists Dallas Smith, Thomas Rhett, Brett Eldridge, Florida Georgia Line, Tim Hicks, Jason Aldean as influences and we feel like we can hear a little bit of each of them when Josh sings. He’s young, talented and not too hard to look at, we’ll be looking to see how he connects with the crowd and the judges.

The Redhill Valleys – Either Or

The Redhill Valleys are Danielle Beaudin on guitar and vocals, Tim Allard on drums, guitar and vocals and Chelsea McWilliams on bass and vocals. The three-piece out of Hamilton have a folk feeling with amazing harmonies. Their video is warm and beautiful. We’re looking forward to seeing them live.

Best of luck to all of the entrants, we’ll see you at Boots!

4 months ago Views

Have Your Say: 2017 Canadian Country Music Association Awards Nominees!

The Canadian Country Music Association has announced the full list of 2017 CCMA Awards nominees… and it’s an impressive list of Canadian country talent!

We are lucky and privileged to have covered, met, and seen these artists put on amazing lives shows, record fantastic music, and grow into their careers.

But now, because we know you have an opinion, we want to know who you think should win at the 2017 CCMA Awards in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on Sunday, September 10th. Use the polls to vote and support your favourite artists, and use the link at the bottom of the list to cast your official vote for the Fans’ Choice Award!

Have fun – and congratulations to all of the nominees in 2017, you should all be proud of your accomplishments, we can’t wait to hear what you’ve got coming for us next.

Click Here to submit your official vote for the Fans’ Choice Award!

And Click Here to see the full list of nominees in all 2017 Canadian Country Music Association categories! 

4 months ago Views

Cavendish Beach Music Festival 2017 Preview: Tim Hicks Top 10

Dear Cavendish Beach Music Festival 2017 attendees, be prepared for a party when Tim Hicks hits the main stage on Sunday, July 9th!

This Canadian country music star has been burning things up since he first hit the charts in 2012 with Get By. In the time since, he’s been all over the radio, played stages from coast-to-coast, and earned the love and respect of country music fans all over Canada.

If you haven’t seen Tim Hicks live, you’re missing out. His energy, passion, and effort to connect with a live crowd is fantastic. His band is loud and rowdy and full of entertainment value. And more than once we’ve seen great surprises pop up in the middle of a Tim Hicks set.

To get everyone ready for Sunday night at Cavendish Beach Music Festival, we’ve put together our Top 10 tracks from the Ontario artist. Click play on them one at a time, and if we left off one of your favourites from the Tim Hicks library, leave a comment.

Tim Hicks Top 10

Enjoy!

Stronger Beer

Slide Over

Young Alive & In Love

Stompin’ Ground

So Do I

She Don’t Drink Whiskey Anymore

Here Comes The Thunder

Hell Raisin’ Good Time

Slow Burn

Get By

5 months ago Views

Enter Now: Boots & Hearts 2017 Emerging Artist Showcase

Presented by Chevrolet (new in 2017), the Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase has helped to launch the careers of Tebey and Tim Hicks (2012), The Reklaws (2013), Ty Baynton, Runaway Angel, Trinity Bradshaw (2014), Johnson Crook, Kris Barclay, James Barker Band, (2015), Jesse Gold and Vanessa Marie Carter (2016) and more!If you think you’ve got what it takes, the process starts with the applications. Country artists, ages 12 and over, can submit a video for a chance to compete at Burl’s Creek Event Park this summer. Visit bootsandhearts.com/showcase to submit your video.

After all of the videos have been submitted (end date: July 2. 11:59 PM EST), 8 finalists will be hand-picked by the judges, who are respected industry professionals, to play live at Boots & Hearts 2017.

Once the top 8 have been selected, fans will then have the opportunity to vote on their favourite artist. Fan votes will determine the time slots for the finalists. Keep in mind that getting the most votes will have you playing last, and historically this is when the crowds are bigger!

The top two will as perform in a sing-off on the main stage at Boots and Hearts 2017. The winner will have the honour of performing on before Brett Eldredge takes the stage, there will be a big crowd watching!

Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase 2017 Grand Prize!

The winner of the 2017 Boots & Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase will have a chance to…

1. Play the main stage before Brett Eldredge on Sunday.

2. Record and release a single on the Universal Music Canada label.

3. Travel to Nashville, the prize includes flight, hotel accommodations for a week, $500 spending money, professional photo shoot, media training and a beautiful new Gibson guitar.
This could be a life-changing experience for all involved and while winning the contest is definitely the carrot at the end of the stick, remember, Tim Hicks was runner-up in 2012. This is going to be a great opportunity for eight new country acts and for 1 of them, it could change their life!

Find out everything you need to know about the Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase by visiting bootsandhearts.com/showcase.Do you know someone that you think should be up on the big stage? Of course, you do, send them this link. Or if you’re a country artist hoping for the next big break we wish you luck. Go enter and tell your friends!

5 months ago Views

2017 Country Music Association of Ontario Awards Winner Recap!

On a hot Sunday night in London, the Ontario country music community came together to recognize greatness in the genre over the last 12 months, and it was a party for everyone involved.

The Country Music Association of Ontario awards were handed out at Centennial Hall, with host Jason McCoy (The Road Hammers) keeping the audience entertained and the show moving forward as planned. And as it moved forward it became clear that the 2017 Awards were a coming out party for one small town Ontario singer in particular.

Bowmanville’s Meghan Patrick was the big winner of the evening, taking home trophies for Female Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Rising Star, and Music Video of the Year. With hits and crowd favourites Bow Chicka Wow Wow, Grace & Grit, Still Loving You, and the new single, Be Country With Me, it should be no real surprise to see Patrick recognized to this degree by her peers and industry professionals. And while she may be living in Nashville right now, we know that Meghan Patrick still holds a soft spot and a lot of love for her Ontario hometown.

Meghan Patrick, via CMAO

Other big winners on the night included Tim Hicks (Male Artist of the Year), whose Live album is definitely worth a listen if you haven’t checked that out yet, Cold Creek County (Group or Duo of the Year), who have a busy summer coming up, James Barker Band (Fans’ Choice), who are on fire right now after their tour with Dean Brody, and River Town Saints (Single of the Year), who have a brand new single, Woke Up Like This, and self titled album available now.

It’s a great thing to see the Ontario country music community come together with their peers and fans for a night like this, and it’s amazing to see the smiles and looks of love in the eyes of the winners, their families, and their devoted fans.

Check out the full list of artist award winners, as well as some of our favourite photos of the 2017 CMAO Award winners live in action over the last few years!

FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Meghan Patrick

RISING STAR AWARD

(sponsored by Slaight Music)
Meghan Patrick

Meghan Patrick Peller Estate

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

(sponsored by Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario & International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers)
Grace and Grit – Meghan Patrick

MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR

(sponsored by Long & McQuade)
Bow Chicka Wow Wow – Meghan Patrick

Meghan Patrick-CMT MusicFest

FANS’ CHOICE

(sponsored by Ontario Media Development Corporation)
James Barker Band

James Barker Band SiriusXM Fan Stage BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016

MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR

(sponsored by Havelock Country Jamboree)
Tim Hicks

GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR

(sponsored by The Remington Group)
Cold Creek County

Cold Creek County CMT Music Fest

SINGLE OF THE YEAR

(sponsored by KICX 106)
Cherry Bomb – River Town Saints

River Town Saints BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016- River Town Saints CMW 2016 Boots and Bourbon

ROOTS ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR

(sponsored by Skelton Truck Lines)
The Abrams

The Abrams, via CMAO

SONGWRITER (S) OF THE YEAR

(sponsored by SOCAN)
Deric Ruttan, Craig Wiseman – Came Here to Forget, performed by Blake Shelton

RECORD PRODUCER(S) OF THE YEAR

Jason Barry (Dean Brody, Genevieve Fisher, The Western Swing Authority, Tianna Woods)

Dean Brody Tour-EdmontonMay26

5 months ago Views

Cavendish Beach Music Festival 2017

The folks at Cavendish Beach Music Festival have been busy today. We’re here to give you all the #CBMF2017 news and there’s lots of it. Where to start?

Let’s start with the newly announced Tailgate Party on Thursday, July 6th. This free event allows you to check out the venue, pick up your wristbands and enjoy some awesome music. Our good friends Johnson Crook are part of the tailgate party along with John King, DJ Bad Ash and Mountain Faith Band.  You can expect some great music from all of these acts and a tailgate party is just the thing to get you ready for the weekend.

Also announced today is the official Cavendish Farms Kitchen Stage Lineup. Heading up the Kitchen Stage is CMA Award-winner and multi-platinum selling artist Billy Ray Cyrus. Supporting acts include Amanda RileyDJ Bad Ash, Eloie Richard, EmiSunshine, Endless Summer, Jason Price, JJ Shiplett, Rawlins Cross, Rik Reese, Sykamore, The Good Brothers, The Lovelocks, The Mountain Faith Band, The Stanfields, TJ King  and Tony Jackson.

We don’t have the daily schedule yet, but we’ve broken down the artists by day for you.

Friday, July 7th


Little Big Town

High Valley
Gord Bamford
Brandy Clark
The Good Brothers
Port Cities
Endless Summer
Mountain Faith Band
Sykamore
Rawlins Cross

Saturday, July 8th


Kip Moore
Kane Brown
Chad Brownlee
Canaan Smith
Madeline Merlo
Andrew Hyatt
Makayla Lynn

Sunday, July 9th

Zac Brown Band
Brothers Osborne
Tim Hicks
Aaron Goodvin
Jessica Mitchell
Lucas Hoge

For your full weekend lineup check out the Cavendish Lineup Page.

What else do you need to know? How about ticket info. Tier One tickets are on sale right now for $169.00. There are VIP options, Sunroof Options and Hayloft Reserved seating options. Check out all the ticket info here.

Additionally, there are some pretty amazing food vendors for you this year including the return of Mr. Donair.  And last but not least… Cavendish Beach Music Festival is running a Mother’s Day Contest. Check out their Facebook Page for all the details.

6 months ago Views

CMAO 2017 Awards Show and Conference Contest!

The 2017 Country Music Association of Ontario Awards are coming, and London, ON is going to do a great job hosting.

We know this because we just experienced a hell of a good time with the country music family during Canadian Country Music Week 2016… ask around and people will tell you the same thing.

Now, because we know this weekend is going to be amazing, we want to send you to experience it!

Yup, we want you to go check out the panels at the CMAO R2I (Road to Independence) TuneUp Conference and the CMAO Awards show on Saturday, June 10 and Sunday, June 11.

It’s going to be a great time. It’s going to be filled with country music’s brightest stars from Ontario. It’s going to be a weekend that you won’t soon forget. Memorable moments will happen. Selfies will be taken. Stories will be told. And you could be there.

If you haven’t been to the awards show in the past, you should know that it’s going to have some amazing musical performances… Your host, Jason McCoy, is sure to sing you a line or two, and backed by house band, The Western Swing Authority, you will see no fewer than 11 artists live on stage.

2017 Country Music Association of Ontario Awards Show Performers

♫ Aaron Pritchett
♫ Cold Creek County
♫ Deric Ruttan
♫ Genevieve Fisher
♫ James Barker Band
♫ Jason Blaine
♫ The Abrams
♫ Jessica Mitchell
♫ Meghan Patrick
♫ River Town Saints
♫ Tim Hicks

At the bottom of this post there’s a widget that you can use to earn up to 7 entries for your chance to win 1 pair (2) of tickets to the R2I (Road to Independence) TuneUp Conference and 1 pair (2) of tickets to the Country Music Association of Ontario Awards Show!

But before we get to that, let’s have some fun. As members of the CMAO, we’ve already cast our votes for the 2017 awards – and now we want to see who you think should win. We’ve picked out six categories featuring some of our favourite, and your favourite, Ontario country artists. Vote for the artist you think should win, then use the widget and enter for your chance to be a winner!

Good luck!













ENTER! ENTER! ENTER!

Note: This prize does not include travel or accommodations. Please keep that in mind when entering and hoping to win!

6 months ago Views

Shake These Walls/Hearts On Fire Tour Q&A: Chad Brownlee & Tim Hicks

If you’re a Canadian country music fan, you’re probably already aware that Chad Brownlee and Tim Hicks are hitting the road together in 2017 for co-headlining dates and a Hearts On Fire/Shake These Walls combo tour.

But what you might not know if how funny Chad and Tim are when they get in the same room together… or what toy Chad would wish for this Christmas, or Tim’s favourite classic Christmas carol to sing.

So to give you a little more insight into 2 of Canadian country’s biggest stars, we got the boys to ask each other a few questions so we could share them with you!

But before we get to that, let’s look at just how impressive these tour dates are going to be…

We’ve had the chance to see both Tim Hicks and Chad Brownlee on a few stages over the last few years, and if you’ve seen 1 or both of them as well, you know a few things.

1) They both like to play loud. This isn’t soft, slow country music all the time. Although some of that lives in their full sets. This is good timing, boot stomping, beer drinking music and it’s a lot of fun.

2) They both have hits to play for the crowd. In the last few years Tim and Chad have both released some awesome songs that have resonated with audiences. And if you’ve never had a chance to sing along live to Stronger Beer, When The Lights Go Down, Stompin’ Ground, or Hearts On Fire – you need to take that chance and enjoy it!

3) Chad and Tim are both solid dudes. Good guys that we have been privileged to meet and hangout with even a little bit. That’s always a nice bonus!

Now… dates and cities. Check them out and if you can see Tim or Chad, or if you’re lucky, both of them together, we highly suggest looking into tickets!

Jan. 6, 2017 – Kelowna, BC – Tim Hicks & Chad Brownlee w/ Jojo Mason
Jan. 7, 2017 – Vancouver, BC – Chad Brownlee & Tim Hicks w/ Jojo Mason
Jan. 8, 2017 – Vancouver, BC – Tim Hicks & Chad Brownlee w/ Jojo Mason
Jan. 11, 2017 – Fort McMurray, AB – Chad Brownlee & Tim Hicks w/ Dan Davidson
Jan. 12, 2017 – Saskatoon, SK – Tim Hicks & Chad Brownlee w/ Tenille Arts
Jan. 13, 2017 – Calgary, AB – Chad Brownlee & Tim Hicks w/ Dan Davidson
Jan. 14, 2017 – Edmonton, AB – Tim Hicks & Chad Brownlee w/ Dan Davidson
Jan. 16, 2017 – Winnipeg, MB – Chad Brownlee & Tim Hicks
Jan. 17, 2017 – Thunder Bay, ON – Chad Brownlee
Jan. 19, 2017 – Regina, SK – Chad Brownlee
Jan. 19, 2017 – Hamilton, ON – Tim Hicks w/ Jason Blaine and River Town Saints
Jan. 20, 2017 – Oshawa, ON – Tim Hicks w/ Jason Blaine and River Town Saints
Jan. 21, 2017 – London, ON – Tim Hicks w/ Jason Blaine and River Town Saints
Jan. 22, 2017 – Sudbury, ON – Tim Hicks w/ Jason Blaine and River Town Saints
Jan. 26, 2017 – Montreal, QC – Tim Hicks w/ James Barker Band
Jan. 27, 2017 – Moncton, NB – Tim Hicks w/ James Barker Band
Jan. 28, 2017 – Halifax, NS – Tim Hicks w/ James Barker Band

And now… please enjoy this little Q&A session with Chad Brownlee and Tim Hicks!

11 months ago Views

CCMA 2016: Jack Daniels Kick Off Party w/ Tim Hicks, Aaron Pritchett, Cold Creek County, Jojo Mason, Meghan Patrick, Petric, James Barker Band & Amy Nelson

We’re live in London, Ontario for the CCMA Country Music Week – and while the big awards won’t be handed out until Sunday night, the festivities have already started with a bang!

Thursday night we hit up the Jack Daniels Kick Off Party and caught 8 Canadian country acts up on stage with an awesome crowd of fans on the street cheering them on and singing along… and drinking. It was exactly what we thought it was going to be, in all the best ways.

The CCMA Kick Off Party gave us…

Amy Nelson
The James Barker Band
Petric
Meghan Patrick
Jojo Mason
Cold Creek County
Aaron Pritchett
Tim Hicks

All of those acts. All on one stage. All in one night.

Amy Nelson kicked off the official party with a full band behind her, and she was ready to go. As the early crowd started to fill the closed down street, Nelson dished out a heap of energy as she sang, giving everyone a taste of the talent that won her the CCMA 2016 Spotlight Performance Contest.

Be sure to check the Regina native out on her social media channels, and stay tuned because it looks like new music is coming soon!

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Next on stage, and familiar to our eyes and ears, was the James Barker Band from Woodville, Ontario. If you’ve listened to country radio at all this summer, you’ve heard these boys… Lawn Chair Lazy climbed all the way to #3, not a bad result for a debut single.

We’ve had the chance to see the James Barker Band play a few times now in the last couple years, and Thursday night’s set at the CCMA street party was more of what people have come to now and love from the guys. They were fun and energetic and sounded great (all things on our checklist) and they even gave us a listen to what could be their next single… Just Sayin’. Keep your ears open for it on country radio in the near future.

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Two of our favourite Manitoba boys were next to take the stage, and they kept the good times rollin’. Petric are one of those acts that we wish we saw a little more often, because it’s never a bad time for us. And it was pretty cool to see them in front of the London, ON fans that may not have seen them before.

Tom and Jason did a great job getting the sing along voices going as more people came into the party, and when they added an acoustic version of I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing to a set that included Here Goes Everything, It Girl, and All She Wrote, we got the loudest street party choir we’d heard so far in the night. Here’s hoping we all get to see more of Petric again soon.

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In quick order we got the next act up on stage… and to nobody’s surprise Meghan Patrick hopped right up, showed everyone what’s she’s got in her bag of tricks, and put everybody in the mood for more volume, more drinking, and more country music.

The cheers had started to get louder as more people filled in to kick off the CCMA’s with a party – and when Meghan played her cover of Jolene and her breakout radio hit, Bow Chicka Wow Wow, they got pretty damn loud for her. And we loved it!

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Next we got to see maybe the most enthusiastic and excited dude in Canadian country music. If you don’t know Jojo Mason yet, you’re missing out. This guy has more energy than we know what to do with, and he’s kind and happy and just bubbles over with joy on stage. And on Thursday night he showed us again that he’s able to transfer those good time feelings onto the crowd, who were having a great time.

There was singing and dancing in the street for Red Dress, Good Kinda Love, It’s All Good, and an awesome cover of Tom Petty’s classic, Free Fallin’ – Jojo did what he does – got ‘em all going. And we’re sure he’ll do it again next time we see him!

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After Jojo we got blast of excitement when Cold Creek County took their turn and filled the stage with bodies and instruments and sound and songs. It always seems to be a party when you put these guys up, and that makes sense, because they’re a full guest list all to themselves… but they graciously shared the festivitities with the even louder crowd getting later into Thursday night.

It was a quick set (they all were) but long enough to get everyone revved up even higher with Our Town, Til The Wheels Come Off, Beer Weather, and Flo Rida’s Welcome To My House. Big ups to the guys for packing a big punch in their short time. Everyone was all in!

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CCC hopped off stage and it wasn’t long before Aaron Pritchett got on, and things got louder again!

The Canadian country music vet has been pumping out radio tunes for a long time now, so Thursday night he gave us 2 we’ve known for years, and 2 that country radio has done a great job of supporting lately. It was awesome to see and hear people get into Out Of The Blue and Dirt Road In ‘Em, and it was even cooler to slip into memory mode and hear the singing along to Big Wheel and Hold My Beer! Nailed it!

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Tim Hicks wrapped the show, and was the one everyone was waiting for. The St. Catherine’s boy knows how to amp up a show, knows how to work a crowd, and knows that Canadian country music fans are in on what he’s doing!

Hicks’ new album, Shake These Walls dropped Friday morning, and he was ready to share some of that new music in his set. The fans got to hear the title track along with Stompin’ Ground, Slow Burn, and Let’s Just Drink from the record PLUS fan favourites Get By and Stronger Beer. And for all we’ve talked about the crowd being loud, it was never louder than when Tim Hicks invited the crowd to sing Stronger Beer with him!

Final verdict: Great party and great way to kick off Canadian Country Music Week in London, ON!

Stay tuned for more!

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1 year ago Views

Tim Hicks Shake These Walls Release & Signed CD Giveaway!

Tim Hicks is no stranger to Canadian country music fans. Since he first hit radio with Get By in 2012, we’ve been hearing his good timin’, boot stompin’ brand of country loud and clear.

And now Tim is back!

Tim Hicks Shake These Walls Album CoverThat’s right baby, Tim Hicks’ brand new record, Shake These Walls drops on Friday, September 9, 2016 – right in the middle of Canadian country music’s biggest weekend of the year. Coincidence? We doubt it.

We’ve had the chance to listen to all 10 songs a few times (not willing to admit how many) over the last couple weeks, and we can tell you that if you’re a fan of what Tim did on Throw Down and 5:01, you’re not going to want to miss this.

After listening, it’s safe to say that Hicks didn’t rest on what he’s done on the first two albums, and we really think that the fans are going to dig it.

Hell we know people already dig it because Stompin’ Ground is all over the radio these days because people keep requesting it!

ALSO, Tim Hicks will be playing live at the Canadian Country Music Association Awards on Sunday, September 11 with Colin James (where he’s also nominated for Interactive Artist of the Year)… and if you’re ever heard Mr. James play the guitar, you know that’s going to be something special.

AND, because we’re so high on this album, and because Tim himself is so excited for you to hear it… we’re giving it away!

That’s right, use the widget in this post to earn up to 6 entries, and you could win 1 of 5 signed copies of Shake These Walls!

We’ll be emailing winners from London on Friday, so if you don’t hear from us – get out and buy your copy. And if you really can’t wait, buy a copy and then you can use the CD you win in the car or at work or give it as a gift!

Tim Hicks, Shake These Walls Track List

1. Shake These Walls
2. Slow Burn
3. Stompin’ Ground
4. Slide Over
5. We Came Up
6. Let’s Just Drink
7. Don’t Make It A Love Song
8. The Night Gets Us
9. Too Fast
10. Forever Rebels

1 year ago Views

Peller Estates Wine Country Fare 2016 Photo Review!

Do you like photos of country musicians up on stage and doing their thing? Well then you’re in the right place!

We were at Peller Estates for the 3rd annual Wine Country Fare and got to see Brad Battle, Jessica Mitchell, Ty Owens, Meghan Patrick, and Blackjack Billy take their turns up on the stage for some singing and dancing and jumping and partying.

Oh, and Blackjack Billy had a special guest join them to… you could say Tim brought the thunder.

Check out this super sized photo review and stay tuned for more pics from more shows and festivals coming soon!

Jessica Mitchell

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Brad Battle

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Ty Owens

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Meghan Patrick

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Blackjack Billy

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1 year ago Views

Boots & Hearts 2016 Photo Review: Tim Hicks!

Y’all know Tim Hicks.

He’s the Southern Ontario country singer and family man responsible for bangers like Here Comes The Thunder, So Do I, and Hell Raisin’ Good Time… and his latest single, Stompin’ Ground!

Well, for the fourth time in five years, Hicks was back at Boots & Hearts where the fans always love him, sing with him, cheer for him, and generally just enjoy the hell out of the show. It’s no surprise really, Tim Hicks has become a crowd favourite through his extensive touring schedule, good nature with the fans, and the energy that he brings to the stage every single time we’ve seen him.

Oh, and Tim also made a special appearance on the SiriusXM fan stage with The Highway’s Buzz Brainard – nice little bonus action!

And we know we’ll see it again!

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1 year ago Views
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